Norman Bates Hides Out Online These Days
EEK EEK EEK EEK!
A consummate classic film that even the newer generations of movie watchers have internalized, “Psycho” is remembered best for the shower scene and accompanying screeching of violins. By today’s horror film standards the whole scenario is pretty vanilla – sawing your arm off to escape a nightmarish scenario or watching a creepy girl crawl out of the TV screen towards you because you didn’t pass her tape along make a scrawny guy in a wig with a kitchen knife seem a little laughable.
What is a little creepier about “Psycho”, though, is that it involves a person so deluded and mentally unbalanced that they assume another gender (he dressed as his mommy after all) and run a hotel as a front for his serial killing designs.
Hahaha…imagine a mentally unbalanced guy pretending to be a woman and using some kind of organization to vent off his baser and sometimes malicious desires…THAT wouldn’t happen these days!
Except, well, there is this relatively new social medium called the Internet, where the anonymity of the medium has not only given the Norman Bates’ of the world a new feeding ground (ever watch one of those “To Catch a Predator” shows?), but has also brought out the inner Norman Bates of even those people only slightly marginalized.
Case in point – recently after three years of playing World of Warcraft (as Humbert Humbert would say in “Lolita” – “Gentle reader, don’t judge me too harshly” lol) a group of five to seven people decided to pool their thoughts together on just WHO this mysterious person was who was in part leading the guild (along with their inner council of other people called “guild officers”). This person, although fiendishly and obsessively paranoid, challenged others to find out who she was in a “I did this, but you’ll never find me, so ha ha!” manner. Naturally, as a challenge was issued, people set forth casually to conquer it.
Through some very easy, brief investigation into the scraps of sloppiness the person had let slip out, a funny thing happened – “she” turned out to have a penis, and from there things began getting more and more clear as a Bruce-Willis-realizing-all-the-clues-that-meant-he-was-really-dead occured. Eureka indeed!
Here was a person many of us trusted – not only had we relied on this person’s judgment to make the experience of our hobby go smoother, we had ridden into battle with this person, slaying dragons, demons, and even god’s in an effort of teamwork that always had its foundation in the trust of the other people in the group.
Yes…I am a big dork – but there are 12 million big dorks out there with those same WoW aspirations, and that’s a mighty powerful coalition of dorks =)
Consider the following:
- This person lied to more than 300 people over the coarse of three years about their gender, often going to great lengths to keep up the facade. (Norman Bates would wear wigs and dresses to enact in gender subterfuge).
- When a voice-over-Internet system was used during online gaming, this person would occasionally speak – in a high pitched and ridiculously fake attempt to sound like a girl. Often times this would result in laughter from anyone who heard it – which made the fact that you have to push a button to talk over the Internet via this protocol a true blessing. (Norman Bates would also imitate his mother’s voice in an obviously false attempt to sound female).
- When confronted about it, this person tripped over and contradicted himself in ways that only cemented his online duality.
- On a more serious note, two people who no longer played the game even once warned other members that this person could very well be a real life menace to another member that ‘she’ had threatened to drive over and commit violent acts against, and they were genuinely concerned for this person’s physical health and safety. (We all know it was generally a BAD idea to be left alone with Norman :P)
To this day this person clings to the fake identity, despite everyone knowing it is false, like a raccoon clutching a piece of shiny metal that won’t fit out of the hole.
On the Internet, wiser folk will realize that if you are dealing with someone you ONLY know from online, you should always take what they present as the truth with a grain of salt. The anonymity of the Internet can be a truly wonderful thing – its a great equalizer, and can often seamlessly do away of many of the social hindrances of life such as racism, sexism, or the other nasty -isms that continue to plague and distort our real life social interactions. Most Internet acquaintances don’t see color or religion or sexual identity, and the basis of ones esteem is often how well the present ideas and interact with other over textual mediums.
The internet also, though, has unlocked something a little deeper, primal, and much darker in a lot of people, which regrettably casts a very suspecting shroud over all interactions.
After all – no one wants to be caught off guard when Norman rips open that shower curtain knife in hand….not even dorks killing pixelated dragons =)